Dr. Anthony Fauci is pushing back on Donald Trump in a big way, calling shenanigans on a new campaign ad that makes it look like the good Doc is endorsing the Prez.
The Trump campaign just released a new ad called "Carefully," in which they describe POTUS recovering from the virus, like so many other Americans are also doing and have already done.
The spot lists Trump's alleged achievements and the screen flashes to a soundbite from a Fauci interview, in which he says "I can't imagine that ... anybody could be doing more." This makes it seem like AF was talking about DT, but that's not the case.
Fauci came out and said the Trump administration used this segment without his permission -- but, more importantly, they took his words out of context. He adds, "In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate."
These comments are actually from an interview he did with FOX News' Mark Levin, in which he praised federal health officials and the Trump administration's coronavirus task force on how they were responding to the pandemic -- which he characterized as "impressive" and "all hands on deck." So, not a Trump compliment ... tangential at best.
Still, Trump trying to twist it and make directly about him specifically is a stretch, and Fauci's setting the record straight.
Eric Trump says the presidency has cost his dad an arm and a leg combating the forces out to get him -- and that he doesn't really need the headache ... music to many people's ears.
The President's son -- who helps heads up at the Trump Organization -- was on ABC Sunday morning and asked about a new NYT report suggesting Trump engaged in several alleged pay-for-play deals with private companies, special interest groups and even foreign governments who patronized his hotels and resorts in exchange for lucrative contracts granted by Uncle Sam -- supposedly, to return the favor on Trump's behalf.
Rather than respond to the allegations, Eric went on an off-topic tirade ... repeating talking points from his father and accusing ABC, the Dems and the NYT of sabotaging DT. But, he also revealed Trump's apparently been bleeding money over these 4 years in office.
Eric said something else noteworthy ... "the last thing ... Donald Trump needs in the world is this job," going on to say that he sticks it out because it's the "right" thing to do for America.
When pressed on the actual story he was supposed to be responding to, ET eventually offered an answer ... saying millions of people stay at their hotels and properties each year, and that the NYT is "fake news." The interview was cut short quickly afterward.
On the issue of Trump not needing this gig ... a lot of folks might simply reply, "Good, GTFO." The door's always open!
Mopreme Shakur, Tupac's stepbrother, tells TMZ ... it was "clearly disrespectful" to his family for the President's campaign to leave a ticket for Tupac at the Vice Presidential debate.
If ya missed it -- Trump's camp confirmed it invited Tupac Wednesday night as a jab at Sen. Harris, who recently claimed Tupac was the "best rapper alive" during an interview. She quickly caught her mistake, and laughed it off ... but Mopreme's not laughing at the Trump team's troll job.
Kamala Harris asked, who’s the best rapper alive?— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) September 25, 2020 @emilyelarsen
She answers @2PAC
Then says “Not alive, I know, I keep doing that.”
Tries to think of another living rapper. “There’s some I would not mention right now because they should stay in their lane.” pic.twitter.com/MZJ5FZC4qP
He says it's not surprising though, because "We should know Trump's lack of respect for the Black and brown community."
Mopreme adds, he knows POTUS won't say he's sorry, so instead, he's aiming high -- saying Trump can make it up to the family by releasing his father, Tupac's stepfather, from prison.
His dad, Mutulu, was sentenced to 60 years in 1988 for RICO conspiracy, armed bank robbery and bank robbery killings. Mopreme says his father's taken full responsibility for his crimes and served as a force for good and anti-violence while incarcerated ... yet he's been denied parole 8 times.
Seems unlikely Trump would get involved, but Mopreme's taking a shot.
As for Kamala ... Mopreme says her snafu just shows she has excellent taste in music, and it's no surprise Tupac's her fave because she's from Oakland. He added, it's all California love for Sen. Harris, and strongly encourages everyone to vote.
Kanye West just confirmed he is definitely NOT down to be second banana in this election -- he says he wants the whole enchilada or nothing at all.
Ye's campaign just sent out a note letting voters in Cali know he's gunning for President, not Vice Prez ... and although he's a VP candidate for the American Independent Party on California ballots, he'd actually prefer folks to write him in as the main guy.
He says, "I am campaigning to be the next President of our great country -- not Vice President. The political party in California that listed my name as its VP candidate has done so without my knowledge." Ye adds a direct plea to the good people of the Golden State.
His remarks end with, "Californians, I ask for your vote for President and urge you to write in 'Kanye West.'" Kanye's request comes on the heels of what a buddy of his recently did ... namely, writing him in and snapping a photo of their ballot to prove they voted Ye.
Mail-in ballots have started to be sent out to folks here on the West Coast -- and the moment of truth is upon us ... even a few weeks before actual election day. The pic Kanye posted got tons of people riled up on Twitter this week ... who couldn't believe someone had actually cast their ballot for the rapper/producer.
Wild as it may seem, there might be a decent amount of people who end up voting for Kanye, actually. However, it's beyond a long shot for him to play spoiler to Biden in Cali, a solid blue state ... whose 55 electoral college votes are a lock for Biden/Harris.
President Trump will not square off -- face-to-face, anyway -- as the second debate has been canceled, which could be a win for your eyes and ears ... if it was gonna be anything like the first one.
The Commission on Presidential Debates pulled the plug Friday on the showdown scheduled for Oct. 15 ... after the President complained about the new virtual format, and said he wouldn't go. Of course, the CPD moved to a virtual debate due to Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis.
His reaction to the change was, "I'm not gonna waste my time on a virtual debate. That's not what debating's all about."
POTUS was also ticked off about possibly getting muted by the moderator ... a feature the CPD said it was considering in light of the constant interruptions and name-calling at the first debate.
For what it's worth, Biden's team initially agreed to the new safety protocols but after Trump dug in his heels ... Biden also pulled out. Instead, his team says he'll hold a town hall in Philly, moderated by ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
Remember ... the second debate had been in doubt since Trump was diagnosed with coronavirus ... along with more than a dozen White House staffers. As of right now ... a third and final debate's slated for October 22 ... just 12 days before the election.
Kinda hard to ignore the fact President Trump is on a heavy dose of steroids -- to combat the coronavirus -- when ya hear him firing off the f-word during live interviews.
POTUS called in Friday to Rush Limbaugh's radio show, and got fired up about U.S. relations with Iran. That's nothing new, but the ease with which he cursed definitely was different. Trump said, without pause, "Iran knows that, and they've been put on notice, if you f**k around with us, if you do something bad to us ... we are going to do things to you that have never been done before."
Okay, in a vacuum the cursing would be no big deal ... and let's face it, it's the kinda tough talk that fires up his base. However, the reality is President Trump's doctors have said he's on Dexamethasone ... a steroid that can make patients edgy and easily agitated.
The 'roids are certainly relevant considering the Prez insists he's feeling great and ready to get back on the campaign trail with a Saturday rally in Florida. Makes ya wonder what might fly out of his mouth when he's even more fired up by crowds of supporters.
It's still unclear if he's a negative test yet, the White House just isn't saying.
Derek Chauvin -- the ex-cop accused of murdering George Floyd -- is now allowed to leave the state of Minnesota as he awaits trial ... after a judge ruled there are concerns over his safety.
The Hennepin County judge changed the conditions of Chauvin's bond Thursday, a day after he was released after posting $1 million. The former Minneapolis police officer can now reside in Minnesota OR a bordering state pending trial.
The decision came after the Department of Corrections provided evidence supporting safety concerns for Chauvin ... according to the judge's order.
Chauvin must report his new address to law enforcement and will remain under normal supervision as he awaits his murder trial ... which is scheduled for March.
Chauvin is required to obtain a cell phone and keep it on him at all times and answer all calls from the Minnesota Dept. of Corrections.
As for which states are contiguous to Minnesota -- North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
As we've reported ... Chauvin is facing charges of 2nd-degree after leaving his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds back on May 25.
5:17 PM PT -- Doc Antle says “I am terribly shocked and disappointed at the charges that have been filed against me by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and how they have sought to involve my daughters in this matter. I categorically deny any act or conduct that could ever be considered as “animal cruelty."
He added he would never hurt or abuse any of his animals, and is looking "forward to being able to answer these charges and to be able to clear my good name.”
We're told Doc and his daughters have not yet been taken into custody.
'Tiger King' star Doc Antle is facing a slew of felony and misdemeanor charges now for his treatment and transport of lion cubs.
Antle, the owner and founder of Myrtle Beach Safari, was indicted Friday in Virginia for felony wildlife trafficking after a months-long investigation found evidence he trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia ... according to Virginia's Attorney General.
You'll recall ... Netflix's "Tiger King" documentary mentioned Antle's safari park was raided last December, and now it seems that raid was part of this investigation.
Antle is also charged with 1 felony count of conspiracy to sell or transport endangered wildlife, 4 misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act, and 9 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
In addition, 2 of Antle's daughters, Tawny Antle and Tilakam Watterson, were charged with misdemeanors for animal cruelty and violating the Endangered Species Act.
The same investigation led to felony charges against Keith A. Wilson, owner of Wilson's Wild Animal Park. Authorities say they seized 119 animals, including lions, tigers, bears, camels, goats, water buffalo, and more from Wilson's roadside zoo and claim he got some of the animals from Antle.
Originally Published -- 9:35 AM PT
Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall is the subject of an internal investigation after multiple claims of hostility -- including allegations he punched a player TWICE during a 2015 practice.
The alleged victim is former Shockers forward Shaq Morris -- who claims Marshall socked him in the face for committing a foul on a teammate during a workout.
Morris says he was trying to block a shot by teammate Zach Brown -- and unintentionally knocked Brown to the ground.
"I went over to help [Brown] up, and as I was helping him up to make sure he was okay, bam -- I’m struck on the left side of my face with a punch," Morris told Stadium.
"I turned back with my fists ready to punch or swing. I don’t know who did what and I see Marshall standing there. I turned around and started walking out."
Stadium says 6 players who were on the team at the time have corroborated the incident.
Several teammates, including Fred VanVleet (who's now in the NBA) allegedly refused to practice the next day unless Marshall apologized, which Morris says he did.
"[Marshall] comes down in the film room and says, ‘First off, I just want to apologize to you and he pointed at me. Then he said, “We good? We good? We good? All right, let’s move on."
There's more ... Morris says Marshall also choked assistant coach Kyle Lindsted during a practice in the 2016-17 season.
"I looked over and saw coach Marshall choking him," Morris said. "Then people started de-escalating the situation, trying to calm him down."
Lindsted -- who left Wichita State in 2018 -- declined to comment to Stadium about the allegation.
There are also allegations of racism ... Marshall allegedly verbally abused player Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler, who is of Native American descent.
Marshall allegedly told him to "get back on his horse" and made "Indian howling noises" while in practice during the 2018-19 season.
One former assistant coach described Marshall this way to Stadium -- "He’s smart, a great coach. Just a bad person."
The coach has commented on the investigation -- telling The Athletic, "I'm aware the university conducted interviews and I fully participated in the process."
"I look forward to having it wrapped up as I continue to focus my energy on our team."
Marshall joined the program in 2007 and is the winningest coach in school history.
George Floyd's being honored and remembered in his hometown ... with a new mural set to be unveiled just in time for his birthday.
The mural is being painted in the Houston neighborhood where George grew up, and it's going to be unveiled Monday during a special ceremony featuring his family and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Houston mayor Sylvester Turner is also invited.
Local artist Ange painted the mural. He tells us George's family asked him to create one back in August, after previously presenting the family with some Floyd artwork at his funeral.
The mural is prominently displayed on a wall outside a neighborhood corner store George frequented. The business is a staple of the community, so lots of folks will see George's face on the building.
George would have turned 47 Wednesday, and we're told celebrating his upcoming birthday is part of the inspiration behind the mural ... plus a message to the community to "be the change" and go out and vote.
George's brothers, Rodney and Philonise, recently checked on the mural's progress and Philonise says they want the art to send this message ... "People in my family all feel that George can't vote, so everybody needs to get out for George, for Breonna, for Ahmaud."
The family adds ... "He said he wanted to change the world, so here's how we do it. By being the change."
Breonna Taylor's boyfriend's words -- captured by body cameras moments after the deadly raid -- will loom large in a potential federal case against the cops who killed her ... according to Lee Merritt.
The famed civil rights attorney joined us on "TMZ Live" Thursday to discuss 2 crucial takeaways from the newly released body cam vids ... and both focus on Kenneth Walker's statements to Louisville cops on the scene.
In the video, Kenneth repeatedly tells cops he and Breonna didn't know it was police busting into her apartment. When an officer asks which of them fired at cops, Kenneth says, "It was her. She was scared." It's about one minute into this clip.
Lee says that might seem to create some uncertainty about who fired the shot that hit Louisville PD officer Jonathan Mattingly -- Breonna or Kenneth -- but he adds the video also shows Kenneth very emotional and under intense duress.
Since the night of the raid, Lee says Kenneth has insisted he's the one who fired his legally-owned 9mm handgun. He provided some insight into why Walker said otherwise as he was being arrested on the scene.
The other thing the videos reveal is the immediate confusion as to whether police announced they were law enforcement. As you know, a dozen neighbors said they did not. Merritt says the obvious emotion in Kenneth's voice as he repeatedly told police, "We didn't know who it was" adds credibility to his side of the story.
Although the grand jury did not indict any of the officers for killing Breonna ... Lee says they're still pushing for federal charges -- and that will likely hinge on whether police ID'd themselves.
8:47 AM PT -- Biden's now saying he will NOT take part in the debate after Trump backed out and refused to adhere to the CPD's safety protocols. Biden instead "will find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15th, as he has done on several occasions in recent weeks."
The Prez was defiant Thursday morning on FOX Business Network, reacting to the Commission on Presidential Debates announcement to go virtual due to Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis. He said, "I'm not gonna waste my time on a virtual debate. That's not what debating's all about."
The CPD announced the change, but said C-SPAN's Steve Scully would still moderate next Thursday from Miami. Biden's agreed to the new safety protocols, but Trump says it's not acceptable -- because sitting behind a computer is not how you debate.
Remember, the first debate was a disaster with both candidates interrupting each other, calling each other names and the President attacking moderator Chris Wallace. The sequel to that is now totally up in the air.
The Commission's move comes in wake of Trump -- and at least 13 others who work in the White House -- contracting the coronavirus last week. Trump, who falsely claimed living with COVID is less deadly than the flu, also claimed he now feels great, and also says HE thinks he's not contagious now. We've yet to hear from that from a doctor.
Originally published -- 7:07 AM PT
Colin Kaepernick is calling for the end of America's current policing system ... saying Wednesday, "In order to eradicate anti-Blackness, we must also abolish the police."
The ex-NFL star spelled out his wishes for the country in a pointed essay ... claiming the current U.S. police system has "roots in white supremacy and anti-Blackness."
Kaepernick says based on his research ... he believes the "central intent" of cops is to "surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks."
And, Kaep says the only way to stop that is to tear down the entire system.
The 32-year-old says simpler solutions -- like police reforms -- just flat-out don't work.
"F**k reform," Kapernick said, adding, "reforms have done nothing to stop the actions that force us to #SayTheirNames."
Kaepernick is also urging the end of the country's prison system ... saying it, too, has roots based in racism.
"Abolition is the only way to secure a future beyond anti-Black institutions of social control, violence, and premature death," Kaepernick said.
Colin says once the systems are dismantled ... he wants to see the funding "reinvested directly into communities to address mental health needs, homelessness and houselessness, access to education, and job creation as well as community-based methods of accountability."
Kaepernick added, "This is a future that centers the needs of the people, a future that will make us safer, healthier, and truly free."
The creator of the F-Factor diet says her company is practically on financial life support ... and she's pointing the finger at an Instagram influencer for allegedly destroying her business by conjuring up fake claims.
Tanya Zuckerbrot -- a registered dietician and Instagram influencer -- is suing Instagram influencer Emily Gellis claiming that beginning in July she's made more than 4,500 false claims over a 75-day period that her F-Factor diet causes physical harm ... and in some cases, death, this according to docs obtained by TMZ.
In docs, Zuckerbrot says she created protein powders and protein bars in 2017 touting her F-Factor diet, which she describes as a "liberating and sustainable approach to weight loss and optimal health based on scientifically proven fiber-rich nutrition."
Zuckerbrot claims Gellis has 750 minutes of video trashing the diet. She says Gellis falsely claimed F-Factor products caused a woman to miscarry a pregnancy. Zuckerbrot also claims Gellis falsely claimed the products contained unsafe levels of arsenic. According to the suit, Gellis also falsely claimed someone died from using the product.
Zuckerbrot's got a laundry list of things she claims Gellis -- who boasts 208k followers on IG -- said about her and the diet products, including accusing Zuckerbrot of "selling f***ing packaged poison" and “profit[ing] off this cult-like mentality.”
She claims the company was generating over $1 million a month in revenue ... until Emily's "illegal, abusive and harassing social media misconduct," which Zuckerbrot says caused "devastating financial damages and enormous emotional distress."
For her part ... Zuckerbrot touts her credentials as a dietician that includes a private practice for more than 20 years, a master's in nutrition and food studies from NYU and being an accredited member of the American Dietetic Association. She says Gellis has no background in nutrition. Zuckerbrot is suing for defamation and wants more than $500k in damages and for Gellis to keep her mouth shut about her and her product.
3:45 PM PT -- Morgan's no longer the musical guest on this week's 'SNL' -- he says the show informed him he broke COVID-19 protocol and won't be performing.
The country singer admits his actions this past weekend were "short-sighted," and put people at risk, and he seems contrite about losing his opportunity and letting his fans and country music down.
He says the ordeal has made him reflect on some areas of his personal life he says need improving, and he plans on taking some time away to work on himself.
The good news -- Wallen says 'SNL' honcho Lorne Michaels was kind and encouraging, and told him they could possibly have him on in the future ... so, something for him and his fans to look forward to.
Country music star Morgan Wallen -- set to be this week's musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" -- was super unsafe over the weekend, and now the question ... will 'SNL' pull the plug on him?
The "This Bar" singer was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the football game against Texas A&M Saturday, and became the star of several TikTok videos afterward as he got very up close and personal with celebrating fans.
The clips show him in a bar -- taking shots and kissing women -- at a house party, in the backseat of a fan’s car and more ... and in all of them, he's without a mask and ignoring social distancing.
Wallen immediately came under fire online for reckless behavior during the pandemic -- and coronavirus case numbers again on the rise -- with people suggesting he's "gonna spread COVID to every gal at Bama."
Morgan's supposed to be the musical guest in just days when 'SNL' shoots the second episode of its 46th season, which premiered Saturday.
The country star's clear lack of taking COVID-19 safety precautions raises questions of how 'SNL' will keep its cast and crew safe in studio 8H ... and keep the Bill Burr-hosted show from becoming the next Rose Garden ceremony. The real question ... will Morgan be allowed to perform in studio?
We've reached out to 'SNL' ... no word back so far.
Originally Published -- 7:08 AM PT
Jacob Blake is out of the hospital, but still getting extensive medical treatment in a new facility ... all while his father's getting threats against his life.
Jacob's uncle, Justin Blake, tells TMZ ... Jacob was quietly released from the hospital about a week and a half ago, and he's currently recovering at a spinal rehabilitation center in Illinois.
We're told the family decided to transport Jacob from the hospital and keep it under the radar because his father has recently been receiving death threats, which also had the family concerned about Jacob's well being in the Milwaukee hospital. Fact is, lots of people knew he was there.
Jacob's uncle is keeping a positive outlook on his nephew's health ... telling us Jacob's currently doing as well as any paralyzed person can be, and trying to adapt to his new settings.